Homeschooling Teen

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Honest Advice with Sugar and Spice

By Olyvea and Ethan

Olyvea Pancerella and Ethan Faulkes answer questions on homeschooling, dating, and life in general. Olyvea says, “One of the most unique things we can contribute is male and female perspectives on questions and ideas.” Send them your questions at polyvea@gmail.com.

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Question 1

Hey,

So, there are a lot of times that friends/older relatives/my parents friends will try to persuade me to go to “real school”. They think homeschooling isn’t good, but I like my schooling. I usually just brush them off, but it’s starting to get really annoying. How do I tell them to just let me live my life? It’s my schooling not theirs. It has no affect on them. I don’t get the big deal.

Help,

A homeschool lover

Olyvea,

I think every homeschooler has been through this at some point or the other. You’re certainly not alone. Some people have a tendency to be afraid of, or feel threatened by, others who do something different than them. I don’t really know why, but I’ve found this time and time again to be true. I don’t think there is a whole lot you can do other than politely keep brushing them off or say something like “I’m very happy with my schooling, and it’s what’s right for me. Please don’t try to convince me I shouldn’t like it.” Hopefully, they will respect your opinion on the matter. Remember, people will always have their opinions on how you should live your life. I’m not sure why, but no matter what you do people always feel inclined to give their opinion on it. Most people have dealt with this, and chances are you’ll deal with it again in your life. Try to not let it bother you because it doesn’t matter what they think. You have to do what’s right for you.

Ethan,

Try not to let them bother you too much. They are being ignorant, and disrespectful of your choices. If somebody is constantly trying to get you to change your way of life for no real reason they aren’t good to keep around. If it’s something your friends are always doing, and nothing you say will make them stop, start distancing yourself from them. I’m not saying cut them off completely, but you don’t need to be told all the time that your way of schooling is inferior. As for relatives and parents friends, unfortunately, there isn’t much you can do other than ignore it.

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Question 2

Hi,

So, I’m homeschooled, and I have a lot of friends who go to public school. We’ve been friends for a long time. I’m pretty close to them, but they always treat me like I’m so sheltered and don’t know anything because I’m homeschooled. They’ll talk about something and then explain a slang to me like I’m totally out of the loop. Or like one day they were talking about bullying and problems, and when I tried to say something they said I didn’t have any real problems or bullies because I didn’t go to public school. I don’t know how to make them understand that I’m homeschooled, but I don’t live under a rock. I still do normal teenage things, I still know slang, and I still have bullies and problems. It’s not like I spend all day in a basement or something. How do I stop them from being so patronizing?

Thanks,

Emily

Olyvea,

I think you have 2 options here. You can talk to them about it, or ignore them. If you draw to their attention what they are saying and tell them it makes you feel belittled they may stop. I wouldn’t suggest making a big deal out of it, or causing drama. The next time they do it just call them out on it. I usually make it into a joke, but that’s just me. I’ve found that if you say it enough times as a joke they usually get the hint and stop, but it’s not foolproof. If you want to be sure they get the point stand up for yourself firmly, but nicely. If you don’t want to do that just ignore it. Laugh along. They may just be doing it to tease you, or get under your skin. Sometimes people, even friends, like to agitate each other. If that’s the case it’s best not to give a reaction

Ethan,

If calling them out on it doesn’t work I would suggest finding new friends that treat you like an equal. You deserve to have friends who you look at you like an equal, and don’t patronize you or belittle your problems. I doubt your friends mean to make you feel like this. They may have a case of “the grass is always greener on the other side”. From their position they probably feel envious of you. I believe bringing it to their attention will solve the problem, but if it doesn’t don’t allow yourself to only hang out with people who think you’re not as knowledgeable because of your schooling.

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Question 3

Hey,

So, I’ve been dating this guy for like a really long time. Like a year, and I love him so much, but before him I was insanely in love with this other guy. I feel like I’ll always love the first guy in a way because he’s my first love. I was confused for a while, but I now know I would always pick my current BF over my first love any day. Recently, me and my ex have come back in contact and we’ve been texting. My current BF knows and he trusts me so he’s ok with it, but soon my ex BF is going to be back in town for awhile and he wants to meet up. My current boyfriend doesn’t know this. I don’t think he would approve if he did. I know I probably shouldn’t go meet up with him, but I really want to. I don’t have feelings for him anymore, but I still feel guilty about seeing him. What do I do?

Help,

HH

Olyvea,

I think you really need to stop and do some soul searching. You seem really confused. I would suggest always keeping good communication with your boyfriend. If you go meet up with this other guy, and your boyfriend finds out from somebody else, he’s going to be much more upset than if you had just talked to him. I think you have more feelings for this guy than you want to admit to yourself, and if you hang out with him there’s a chance old feelings may resurface. You need to really think about what you want, and if the risk is worth the reward.

Ethan,

You sound like you already know the answer. From what you’ve said if you think really hard you know what you should do. A wise man once said “Advice is something we ask for when we already know the answer, but we don’t want to.” I think you know. I also think you still have feelings for him. You said you’ll always love him, but then you said you no longer have any feelings for him. I think you’re trying to deny it to yourself what you’re feeling. It sounds like you never quite moved on. Doing the right thing isn’t always easy, in fact it’s rarely easy, but it always makes life better in the end. When you have that little nagging voice in the back of your head telling you what you should do, that’s your conscious/God/whatever you want to call it. If there is one thing I’ve learned in life it’s that you should always listen to that voice, even when you really don’t want to.

“Therefore, whoever knows the right thing to do, yet fails to do it, is guilty of sin.”-James 4:17

I like this poem and I think it’s suiting to all of these questions, so, I’m including it:

“Today I choose to live by choice, not by chance.

To make changes, not excuses.

To be motivated, not manipulated.

To be useful, not used.

To excel, not compete.

I choose self-esteem, not pity.

I choose to listen to the inner voice,

not the random opinion of others.”

-Author Unknown

 

Until next time,

Olyvea and Ethan

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Olyvea Pancerella and Ethan Faulkes are both 16 and both going into 11th grade. Olyvea has been homeschooled since first grade and Ethan has been homeschooled since third grade. Email any questions to: polyvea@gmail.com

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